There is a popular video clip of former Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville letting a referee know that the NFL stands for “Not For Long”. Glanville might have been on to something when he said that because NFL teams are adjusting their rosters on a daily basis. That was illustrated this week when the Green Bay Packers roster went through a minor personnel shakeup.
Green Bay Packers Roster Went Through a Minor Personnel Shakeup
When it comes to being on an NFL roster, it is more about what can you do for me now rather than what you have done for us. LaDarius Gunter learned that the hard way this week when the Packers waived the third year cornerback. Gunter was a savior last season when he stepped into a starting role to cover for fellow cornerbacks Sam Shields (concussion), Damarious Randall (groin), and Quinten Rollins (groin) being lost to injury.
The undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami (Florida) stepped in and held together a cornerback position that was being kept together by duct tape. Gunter played in 16 games for the Packers registering 50 total tackles and forcing two fumbles. He had his strong moments, like the performance he had against New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. in the Packers NFC playoff victory over the Giants. But many Packers fans won’t forget Gunter being a part of being torched by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones for 180 yards in the Packers NFC Championship loss against the Falcons.
Once the king of the hill, Gunter found himself at the bottom of the depth chart in this season’s training camp for the Packers. Gunter found himself behind newly signed Davon House, Randall, Rollins, and the Packers top draft pick Kevin King. The Packers tried moving Gunter from an outside boundary cornerback position to more of a slot corner this training camp, hoping to utilize his long arms to jam smaller receivers but also cover up Gunter’s lack of speed.
Unfortunately for Gunter, the move outside didn’t help him shine and with the Packers having to activate wide receiver Geronimo Allison, the Packers decided to part ways with Gunter. He wasn’t out of work for long, the Carolina Panthers picked him up and are hoping to jump start the young Gunter’s career.
Goodbye We Hardly Knew You
Gunter wasn’t the only Packer departing this week. In a somewhat of a surprise move, the Packers cut defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois. The journeyman Francois was signed this off-season, a rare move by Packers general manager Ted Thompson who isn’t known for signing outside free agents. Francois was expected to be a part of the Packers rotation at defensive end, but it seems that plan was scrapped once the Packers signed former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Quinton Dial late in training camp.
Francois only played six snaps in the Packers opening victory over the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday. Part of the lack of playing time for Francois could be from the Packers and defensive coordinator Dom Capers running so many sub packages that only utilize two down lineman. Coach Ben Clubb, a contributor for us at LWOPF, estimated that Capers ran sub packages 80-90% of the time against the Seahawks. With rookie Montravius Adams being close to returning from injury and the Packers high on second year defensive lineman Dean Lowry, it made Francois expendable.
Packers Promote Offensive Lineman
With the Packers having two open roster spots, with one being filled by Allison, the Packers decided to promote rookie offensive lineman Adam Pankey. Pankey, an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia, was released by the Packers at the end of training camp and was signed to their practice squad. Pankey had a strong training camp, seeing time at both guard and tackle. With utility offensive lineman Don Barclay on the injured reserve and starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga hampered by an ankle injury, the Packers didn’t want to be caught thin on the offensive line.